Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Big Ten Week Four Wrap-up

Take a moment and thank God, Allah, Vishnu, Ditka, or whomever you pray to, that the out of conference schedule is over for the Big Ten. Everyone pretty much went with cupcakes to start the year, except for Ohio State, who got frosted by USC.

Ohio State decided to sandwich their match-up with USC with two seemingly easy games against Ohio and Troy. Ohio, Ohio State, USC Trojans, Troy Trojans, Troy Smith...my head is spinning. Anyway, the Bucks struggled against Ohio, and this weekend did the same against Troy. Troy outgained Ohio State for most of the game, but freshman Terrelle Pryor turned it on in the end and the Buckeyes won behind 14 fourth quarter points. Not exactly the start to the season that Ohio State expected, coming off a second straight national championship appearance, fans were ready to win it this year with almost all of their players returning. A sure shot to win the conference before it started, it now looks like three or four teams could challenge them.

Michigan State beat Notre Dame this weekend, shockingly proving Lou Holtz's 11-0 prediction for the Irish wrong. While Notre Dame looked terrible, I didn't think the Spartans impressed much either. Javon Ringer is a great back, but does he really need the ball 40 times against Notre Dame? For a player with injury problems in the past, don't be surprised if Ringer misses some time later this season.

Central Michigan and Purdue proved to be just as exciting of a game as their bowl match-up last season. After CMU scored a late touchdown, the Chips went for two instead of the tying extra point and converted. Purdue wasted no time, with a long kick return and a huge 46 yard touchdown run from Kory Sheets, just 20 seconds after the CMU score. The Boilers won 32-25.

Penn State blew out Temple, causing many to think maybe the Nittany Lions are the team to beat going into conference play. They are 4-0 with no close games. They also beat four of the worst teams in college football. This team is overrated.

Minnesota beat Florida Atlantic, Northwestern held on to beat Ohio 16-8, Iowa lost a close one to Pittsburgh, and Indiana was embarrassed by Ball State.

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